In Duxiu and Lu Xun led a revolt

In 1867, confucianism was highly valued and placed conservative rules on women including “Three Obediences” and “Four Virtues.” The “Three Obediences” required women to be obedient to their fathers before marriage, to their husband after marriage, and to their son after the death of their husband. In addition, women were held to “Four Virtues:” morality, proper speech, modest manner, and diligent needlework. In Chinese culture, foot binding was a means of displaying financial status (as women who could live “work free” could afford to bind them). Correspondingly, a woman’s beauty and marital suitability was assessed by the size of her feet (Daughter, 22). In the nineteenth century, a young woman’s role was to be subordinate to their father within the confines of domestic walls. In Chinese culture, arranged marriage was the norm before the mid-twentieth century.  In China, a good wife is called “??? (Xián nèizhù)”, literally meaning “great domestic assistant.” It was the wife’s obligation to manage home affairs, including looking after family members, cleaning the house, treating guests and preparing for sacrifice ceremonies. Culturally the ideal of feminine behavior created a dependent being, thus belonging to a home was the only means of economic survival for the majority of women. In the late nineteenth century, women, like Ning Lao Tai Tai, were expected to be great domestic assistances completely dependent on their husbands.In Chinese culture, the functional importance of women lay in their reproductive role. Within a patriarchal society, the reproductive function took the form of reproducing male descendants. In the late nineteenth century, a woman’s role was to produce a male descendant to carry on the family line. Beginning around 1910s, scholars such as Chen Duxiu and Lu Xun led a revolt against confucianism- an event formally known as the New Culture Movement. They called for the creation of a new Chinese culture influenced by global and western ideology. This movement liberated women on an economic and social front in regard to issues such as education and marriage. The traditionally held ideas of the “Three Obediences” and the “Four Virtues” gradually became irrelevant. In just two generations, the role of women broke free from the confines of the domestic sphere. The effects of the New Culture Movement with regard to the role of women are evidently portrayed throughout A Daughter of Han. While Ning was prohibited to leave the home and be dependent on her husband, Su Teh was encouraged to independently pursue education internationally. A thorough understanding of women and their roles over time is significant to the understanding of the development and cultural norms of Modern China. A Daughter of Han provides us with insight on how the New Culture Movement changed the life trajectory of women. Unlike Ning Lao Tai Tai who was uneducated, new educational opportunities resulting from the New Culture Movement empowered women to provide for themselves as they no longer were dependent on their husbands. Like Su Teh, women began holding occupation to economically provide for their families. Generation after generation, the emancipation boosted progressive thinking and the importance of education over marriage. Following the New Culture Movement, arranged marriage became fairly uncommon. Su Teh was one of the first women to benefit from this reality. Understanding the gender roles and how they have changed over time gives us better understanding on China’s current social structure. It helps us better understand historical events and why they occurred. History and the future are distinctly tied. The New Culture Movement was not only a game changer for the lives of Ning Lao Tai Tai and Su Teh but every other women in China; its effects have proven timeless impacting history to the present.